Uber: violent taxi driver protests prompt ban in France

Jun 26, 2015

Courtney Love one of many caught in nationwide protest, as French government bans UberPop

Page 1 of 2Uber: violent taxi driver protests prompt ban in France

The French government has ordered a ban on car-sharing service UberPop following violent protests by taxi drivers.

Nationwide strikes were held by thousands of taxi drivers, who say the service is ruining their livelihoods.

Cars were overturned, tyres were burned and highways around Paris were blocked. Attacks on UberPop cars and other taxis who refused to strike were also reported. One witness claimed protesting drivers were pulling other cab drivers out of their vehicles, shouting abuse and spitting on their cars.

Singer Courtney Love said her taxi had been ambushed in the capital, with people beating the cars with metal bats. "This is France??" she tweeted. "I'm safer in Baghdad."

Abdelkader Morghad, from the FTI taxi union, said drivers, who have to pay thousands of euros for a licence, have lost between 30 to 40 per cent of their income over two years because of UberPop, a car-sharing service rolled out by Uber. It allows unlicensed individuals to become part-time taxi drivers and pick up others in their own cars at much cheaper rates than traditional taxis.

Morghad said the government needed to enforce a law, introduced earlier this year, that stops unlicensed drivers from carrying paying passengers. "UberPop is completely illegal in France, but people are still able to download the app and drivers are still able to pick them up and earn money. How can you explain that? That's the real frustration for us," he told The Local.

Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, has since ordered police in Paris to issue a decree banning UberPop and said that any cars defying the order would be seized, reports the BBC.

"I have given instructions, considering the grave problems with public order and the development of this illegal activity, to the police prefecture in Paris to ban UberPop activities," he said.

Cazeneuve also claimed that Uber could face charges of "illicit transportation of people" under article 40 of the country's penal code, which is punished by two years in prison and a €300,000 fine.

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Page 1 of 2Uber: violent taxi driver protests prompt ban in France

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They are annoyed because Uber actually offers value.

1. Uber is much cheaper - An UberX from Shoreditch to Putney cost me £22 in a nice clean Toyota Prius. The same journey in a black cab would cost around £35, and you would have to stand out in the cold to grab one.

2. You can request a quote upfront, and they are almost always accurate.

Im a complete convert. I never use a black cab if I can help it.

I use uber from Putney to Camden
what I like is the choice of classy vehicles. The price is less than black cabs and the drivers are smartly dressed. The knowledge is nice to have, however, its not necessary these days with technology. Iget to know the vehicle and a picture of the driver and car registration. As a women passenger I find this reassuring.

Uber can surge charge, raise their fares at any time due to busy times or bad weather be carefully also drivers are rude and unprofessional.
I would always use black taxi

And here I thought the French were total pussies.

The knowledge is useful, if you are going to or from an awkward location there can be a lot of problems with Uber because the driver's have no clue where they're going. For value and ease though there's no contest. I would love to support black cabs but they are not good value for money. Black cabs need to evolve rather than strike...why can't they just adopt the same technology? It's 2014 you can't expect people to walk around in the cold and then pay £50 to get home. If the prices were close I would use Black cabs, but they aren't even in the same league. Come on guys...

Evolve rather than strike - yes this is exactly right. Because soon it's going to be evolve or die.

When companies such as Uber transition to real time taxi sharing, and make their proposition even better value for money, taxis are going to be left in the cold.